Brisbane 1912: In protest at restrictions on public speaking two men dressed as Cossacks and bound with red gags come tearing down Queen Street on horseback. Upon their backs reads the message, ‘Sorry to say can’t speak to you today – Police Commissioner Cahill won’t let me.” p 129


Brisbane 1913: Socialist Bob Bessant caricatures police censorship before a crowd of 2000 by riding up and down Queen Street with a placard reading, “Sorry to say I must be quiet, for if I speak I’ll cause a riot.” P. 202


Sydney 1954: When two members of the Waterside Workers Federation are called before the Petrov Commission into Soviet Espionage, 5,000 of their fellow unionists decide to join them for the day. Pickets are thrown up outside the courts and proceedings are interrupted by human caricatures of PM Menzies, the Petrovs and judges. P 195


Melbourne 1970: Following the traditional May Day march those of a more radical persuasion decide to continue on from the Yarra Banks towards the American Consulate. En route two red flags are placed on the “secret” ASIO headquarters.


Melbourne 1971 account of student political activity at Monash University 1965-72 published in Balaclava in 1973 recalls that, “The secret ASIO headquarters in St Kilda Road were rather a joke at this time. Peter Bailey, who was easily amused, used to spend hours wandering around the reception area asking people what building it was. Of course no one was permitted to tell him, and no one could therefore tell him to go away. It was alleged that one agent got to know Baily so well as to satirise him by asking for a cigarette while casually displaying a full packet. 240


Melbourne 1973: After they put up posters near the home of a Melbourne spy, three members of the Committee for the Abolition of Political Police (CAPP) are arrested for publicizing the names and addresses of ASIO staff. Two of them are fined $200 each for “harassment”, yet the named agent remains free to continue his creepy stalking of activists. P 132


Sydney 1973: A Telecom maintenance worker notices that one cable too many is running into the Communist Party of Australia’s offices. Deciding to take full advantage of the situation, a CPA official invites ABC TV’s Four Corner and other members of the media to attend a ceremonial cutting of the wire. This is followed by a trip to the other end of the wire; an ASIO listening post hastily vacated some hours before. p 104



Melbourne 1973: The Victorian branch of the CPA lays a trap for ASIO break and enter men by coating doorknobs at their headquarters with a special chemical and leaving an envelope marked, “Confidential” on a desk in full view. A sophisticated voice operated microphone is also set up. The next day a break in is revealed when a second chemical activists the first, indication that someone had gone through the party’s filing cabinets and desks. The tape further reveals that a safe cracking operation has taken place and that sensitive files have been tampered with. This information is released to the public, but is largely ignored by the mainstream media. P 258


Melbourne 1974: Following an inner-city drug raid one Detective Sergeant “Ding Don’t” Bell leaves behind his notebook. Within days pages appear in the radical paper The Digger exposing Bell’s systematic harassment of an activist who had earlier revealed the policeman’s practice of carrying around blank warrants to justify snap raids on hippy households. How was the activist able to prove this? Because “Ding Don’t” had left a pile of said warrants behind during a previous raid. Unsurprising Bell’s stay on the Drug Squad is not an extended one. P 251


Brisbane 1979: Constable Michael Egan becomes the first Queensland cop to officially resign over the State’s anti-protest laws after he is arrested for going to the aid of a friend who is nabbed marching down the footpath following an International Women’s Day rally. He later suffers further arrests for traffic offences, and decides to leave the State after being followed home from a civil rights meeting by Special Branch operatives. P 205


Alice Springs 1980s: The entire front gate of the Pine Gap spy base has to be removed after peace activists jam it up with bike locks. P 146


Pine Gap 1982: A plucky crew of anarchists break into the Pine Gap military spy base, spray painting the message No To This Madness” and a circle-A on the base of a radar dome. P 247


Brisbane 1982: In response to Queensland’s draconian anti-free speech laws, under which people could apply for, but never be granted a permit to protest, activists carried out a number of actions during 1982 and 1983. Regular civil disobedience and street theatre in the Queen Street Mall eventually saw the space opened up to public speakers. The Campaign for Free Expression then celebrated the creation of this Free Speech Mall by entering a runner in the Townsville to Brisbane Mall to Mall race. Taking advantage of Queensland’s love of all things “big” the group created a giant soapbox and mounted it on their race support vehicle. P 189


Alice Springs 1983: The Women for Survival protest camp holds its own CIA Olympic Games outside the US Pine Gap spy base, including the “CIA Open (Top) Secret Sprint” in which contestants charge at a car containing the NT Chief Minister. P 129



Brisbane 1983: During the trial of a number of free speech activists, Special Branch operatives unwittingly reveal that they have been compiling lists of those who sign petitions. To highlight this revelation activists picket the court proceedings, chanting, Lop the Branch” while mysterious figures dressed in overcoats, hats and sunglasses with badges claiming to be from ASIO, KGB, CIA and KAOS mill about in the crowd. One man appears in a red dressing gown claiming to be Cardinal Bernie Maloney from the Vatican Secret Police. As with any gathering in Queensland at the time arrests inevitably ensue. P146-7


1984 – Women hold actions across Australia on ANZAC day to commemorate the women and children killed and raped in war and to bring to light the fact that Australian veterans have participated in such atrocities. The next day the cenotaph in Hobart is graffitied with slogans such as “Even Heroes Rape in War and “Lets we forget the women raped in wars. Police make arrests, but are hard pushed to identify the women since they were masked during the protest. P215



Alice Springs 1985: With the Pine Gap spy base undergoing a major overhaul, peace activists attempt to prevent the US military from bringing in supplies. Hal Alexander recalls planning and eventual executive of a daring plan by four plucky cyclists to occupy the Alice Springs runway and thereby prevent massive Galaxy C-5 transport plans from landing. P 86




Northern Territory 1987: When charged by police, women arrested during a trespass action at the US spy base at Pine Gap give the name of the murdered US antinuclear whistleblower Karen Silkwood. P 207




Northern Territory 2002: During a large protest at the Pine Gap US military facility, four anti-war activists decide to do a nude run through the site. After walking all night, avoiding police patrols and navigating the NT desert, the activists strip off and paint slogans on each others bodies. They wait until a patrol has passed, leap across the offence and run into the base – all within sight of the beefy police presence. After ten minutes of madly dashing through the desert they become lost, and are unable to figure out why the police aren’t chasing them. After some further investigations, they discover they have jumped the wrong fence, and have ben running around naked outside of the base. To make matters worse member of the group have “Penises for peace” sunburnt on their chests and the women, “Cunts against cunts.” P 51


Northern Territory 2005: Four members of Christians Against ALL Terrorism became the first- ever Australians to be arrested under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act of 1952 after a Citizen’s Weapons Inspection of the US spy base at Pine Gap causes it to be locked down for six hours. Two of the team enter the base undetected and take photos of themselves on the roof of a building before being arrested, while the others wander around the base for another hour before being caught cutting through an inner fence. After a judge awards only minor fines for trespass against them, rather than the heavy sentences the Federal Government had been seeking under the Act, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions appeals. However, following jail time for the non-payment of the fines and a further appeal of their own, the four are finally acquitted of the “crime” of bringing to light the bases role in the Iraq war. 240